The Japan Digital Research Center of the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies was established in 2017 for the purpose of developing new modes of support and collaboration amongst librarians, faculty, and students working in an increasingly digitized and networked environment. Despite its recent beginnings, the JDRC serves as home to a resource representing both the oldest and newest Japan digital project at Harvard: Constitutional Revision in Japan. It was originally launched in 2005 following the LDP’s publication of a new constitution draft and announcement that they would vigorously pursue revision. Much of the debate was taking place on the internet and there was an immediate perception of need to capture and preserve these materials for a future generation of scholars and students.
Through what we call "The Chronicle of Japan" written by the bishop himself during his forced stay in Japan from 1942 till 1943 under the care of the Jesuits in Tokyo on the one hand, and the Spanish diplomatic documentation (1942-1944) on the other, we trace the happenings around the evacuation of the Bishop of Guam, Miguel Angel Olano Urteaga, from his indigent state in Tokyo, caused by the unexpected deportation of him from Guam as, almost, a prisoner, to Japan. The mentioned “Chronicle” is stored in the Provincial Historical Archive of Capuchins of Pamplona (Navarra), in the Personal Funds Section, while the employed Spanish diplomatic documentation was kept, at the time of collecting, in the General Archive of the Spanish Ministry of the Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation. A few articles of a Japanese newspaper also corroborate the footsteps of the bishop.
On September 1, 2023, an unprecedented earthquake of magnitude 7.9 known as Great Kanto Earthquake hit the Kanto region causing one of the largest damages in Japanese history. The number of killed people exceeded 105,000 including missing people. In addition, nearly 1.5 million people were left homeless. Six neighbouring prefectures were affected, and most of the Tokyo metropolitan area was destroyed by the earthquake and fire. In this presentation, I would like to introduce Princeton University’s collection of posters and notifications created immediately following the earthquake by the Japanese national and regional governments, as well as citizen groups, etc. Most of these ephemera items consist of text only in contrast to post cards and drawings that were created later. The contents are rather raw portraying the desperation and urgency of the situation.
Since Katsumi Kuroita proposed palaeography as an adjunct to early modern Japanese history, palaeography has progressed in terms of sourcing various historical information, not limited to textual information, from historical materials. Among these developments, studies on papers used as historical materials have focused on documents from the ancient and medieval periods. Specifically, such research has identified and classified types of papers by investigating the materials and traces involved in the paper-making process and exploring the history of paper materials from manufacture to utilization. Observation methods for historical materials regarded as objects are of growing interest in the fields of natural science, paper-making science, and the restoration of cultural properties, in addition to history, and many surveys are being conducted using microscopes to observe and analyse the structure of papers used as historical materials.
Continuing from 2022, this report provides an update on the status of Digital Humanities (hereafter DH) and Digital Archives (hereafter DA) as of 2023. While there has been no significant shift from the major trend of transitioning from “only human readable data” to “machine-usable datasets”, and from images to text utilization, there have been some releases and modifications in digital resources. These changes will be elaborated, providing an overview of the current state of digitalization of Japanese resources in Japan
Several years have passed since we started the project to create a database list of Japanese Studies-related databases together, and the number of items has gradually increased. However, it has become difficult to read the contents in the current list format alone, so we have created a system that extracts information from the list and puts it into a search system using MySQL, Flask and Docker, so that the contents of the list can be retrieved as soon as necessary. This presentation introduces that system.
In the 1970s, Ronald Dore's publications brought attention to the educational heritage of early modern Japan, both inside and outside of Japan. Education began with terakoya for elementary education followed by private schools (shijuku) and the domain schools (hankō), and it was during this period that Confucianism, as a foreign ideology, was widely incorporated into education. In response to the spread of education, Confucian scholars were recruited by each domain, and they also played a role in introducing learning and culture of Edo, Kyoto, and Osaka to regional cities.
At the 2013 Paris Conference, I introduced the historical materials of the Matano family, which was inherited by five generations of Confucian scholars in the Tatsuno domain in present-day Hyogo Prefecture. I would like to introduce the historical materials that could not be introduced at that time. I also would like to introduce the historical materials related to the Tottori and Okayama domains schools, as well as the preservation status of historical materials related to education in modern Shiga.
This presentation proposes the role of Ryoshi (料紙, materiality of paper) in analyzing the historical documents in the Hiroshima Domain Government (HDG; Hiroshima-han) from the middle to late Edo period, demonstrated through the materials in the Hiroshima Prefectural Archives. During this era, samurai officers made official use of various papers of different size, folding patterns, colors, and thickness to honor the receiver’s status and expressing the importance of the communique. HDG’s law required samurai officers to use Iro-moroguchi (色諸口) paper and Iro-hanshi (色半紙) paper, which were dyed in pale pink, for all forms of official documents.
Incorporating the evidence from the samurai’s diaries, journals, and the scientific examination of paper materials, this presentation demonstrates that Ryoshi visualizes the four Cs in HDG: Class society, Community spirit, Credibility of official document, and Color-coded network.
Digital collections of rare resources are very important for the internet age, particularly from relatively remote libraries and museums as geographical obstacles to their access can be overcome through the internet. As one of the users who has enjoyed the convenience of these resources, Noboru Koyama would like to introduce "Obei Bijutsu Angya" ("The Pilgrimage of Art in Europe and America"), a book-form manuscript (12 volumes) written by Kuwabara Yojiro, a scholar of Japanese arts and crafts from Matsue City.
Yoko Sato would like to introduce the Kuwabara Collection and other important digital collections from Shimane University Library in Matsue City.
This talk examines the provenance of a substantial body of Tokugawa-period printed books that were rebound in custom-made textile bindings, commonly referred to as 'Gillet' covers after the name of a former French collector. Building on a research paper delivered in occasion of the 2022 Symposium 'Arthur Tress and the Japanese Illustrated Book' (University of Pennsylvania), I shall look anew at illustrated books housed in major European and American institutions, in an attempt a recreating the now dispersed Gillet collection. Furthermore, in light of new evidence recently uncovered, I will discuss the identity of Mr Gillet, casting some light on his collecting activities.